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Interview with Jiří Fusek, Managing Director of Cluster, about its mission, representation of Czech biotech abroad and plans for the future.

One of the goals of the cluster is to support the visibility of the Czech biotechnology sector and its connection with international partners. What would you like to achieve in the short and medium term?

In the beginning, it is essential to establish contacts with similar foreign groups, i.e. mainly industry associations and clusters in our vicinity. We are very well connected to partners of this type in Austria and Germany, whose activities are a great inspiration for us.

In the medium term, we want to be seen as one of Europe's traditional biotech regions, so we plan to repeatedly participate in leading events and represent the Prague and Czech biotech ecosystem. Our long-term vision is to bring the key European trade fair BIO-Europe to Prague because we believe that the Czech Republic and its capital city have the potential to host a prestigious event of this type and importance.

The last major event you attended was BIO-Europe Spring in Barcelona. How do you represent the Czech biotech scene at events of this type?

Events of this type are not just classic conferences or trade fairs - first and foremost they offer the opportunity to meet key decision-makers. Whether your ideal partner is a large pharma company, an innovative SME or start-up, an investor or one of the many stakeholders represented, these events offer the opportunity to meet the best contacts.

We had our stand at BIO-Europe Spring in Barcelona, for the second time - after a very good experience in Munich last year. As well as bringing more attention to our cluster, its members and our region and actively promoting all of the above, we have several meetings with relevant partners who send enquiries to our members or get involved in our autumn conference then.

What other conferences will you represent the Czech biotech scene at?

Two important international trade fairs await us - firstly, the Bio International Convention in San Diego, which is the world's largest event in the field and where we will be part of the Czech pavilion organised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade; and then the autumn edition of BIO-Europe in Stockholm.

In addition, we will participate in the German BioVaria; and join the biotechnology mission of CzechInvest and the Czech Embassy in Stockholm to Sweden. And then, of course, I must mention the centrepiece of our autumn, Conference 2024. is just at the beginning of its journey. Are there already any specific outcomes worth mentioning?

We have managed to form a group of people and institutions with a clear shared interest in the development of the industry and a vision for the future. Our primary goal now is to expand; we will soon announce the first large "corporate" member joining the association, which has been made up mostly of academic institutions. We are succeeding in working with the government and becoming part of international structures; we are also successfully developing our conference concept. We look forward to the rest of this year.

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